General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 43 in 1858; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: Jews were persecuted in Rheinbrohl in 1819, when a series of blood libel accusations sparked anti-Semitic riots. Communal institutions included the following: a synagogue at 717 Oben im Dorf (present-day Walddorfgaesschen); a cemetery (consecrated in the 17th century); and a Jewish school, established in 1837, at 60 Kirchengasse. In 1863, the community sold the synagogue building to a neighboring resident and purchased a new site on Chaussee (present-day Hauptstrasse), after which, in 1864, a new synagogue with a women’s gallery was inaugurated in Rheinbrohl. Johanna Loewenherz (1857- 1937), a well-known Jewish feminist and social democrat, was born in Rheinbrohl. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue building was set on fire; the supervisor of the local fire brigade ordered his men to let the building burn while protecting the neighboring structures. The synagogue subsequently burned to the ground, a few days after which, during the St. Martin’s fire on November 11, 1938, its contents were set on fire on the banks of the River Rhine. Several local Jews emigrated from Germany during the years 1933 to 1938. In July 1942, the remaining Jews were deported. At least 17 Rheinbrohl Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins—the building was destroyed during an air raid in 1945—were eventually torn down. In 1982, a memorial plaque was affixed to the Protestant church in Rheinbrohl.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: AJ, LFD-RP, YV